Everyone loves a deal! Who wouldn't? The thrill of "beating the system" invigorates the soul and brings bragging rights with it. You can't be in construction, or construction related industries without developing an eye for a deal. Everywhere we go we keep a constant gaze for the undervalued while staying ready with the wallet. Our friends affectionately refer to Molly and I as "the junkyard dogs" because we are so all about the deal...
Take this coffee table for instance. Purchased for $175 with the beveled glass top from one of my favorite local haunts, Lots of Furniture down on Riverfront. It was rusty when I bought it but it cleaned up nicely - before I shot it with lacquer.
Sometimes the inspiration for a brand new piece can come from a source that wasn't an undervalued product. These gates (or the original design) were in a studio we visited out in the countryside of France. The price in France was prohibitive so we copied the design, made some minor modifications and enhancements, and had them produced in Dallas for a home in Grand Cayman. They turned a rather plain entry into something special!
This wrought iron was found in one of my favorite places in all the world - Marchee de Pusche (the flea market) in Paris. The single gate with several side panels came off a Parisian manor. Fortunately we came along a just the right time and had them shipped back to the States. Though it has now been years since that trip we have them stowed away comfortably just waiting for the right place.
We probably saved more money in France than we could ever afford, but the exchange rate several years ago made it silly cheap to pick up really fine treasures. This gorgeous old sideboard (below - in Paris) was another find from the flea market. Made of solid walnut (a/k/a "black gold" here in the States because it is such an expensive wood to work with), we tried the piece in several places in our home before it ended up in our Dining Room.
Our clients like it too when we shop. Often uniqueness of the products we use will differentiate their home from their friends.
The secret to finding really terrific values is knowing when and where something "fits" in your design scheme and being ready at a moments notice to buy it and get it home. Molly travelled with her Mom and sisters years ago to London and found this chandelier which she just had to have for our Dining Room. She chose not to electrify it but rather uses candles to soften the mood for dinner parties.
But being a "junkyard dog" can also take on a very sentimental point of view. As our girls were growing up we would often eat at a local restaurant that always had wonderful, original oil paintings. Our family fell in love with this particular work! Painted by local artist Kelly Stribling Sutherland in 1993 it came to represent the wholesomeness of Americana as a mother and her children picnic'd. Imagine our horror when we walked in to the restaurant one day and the picture was gone! Come to find out management had decided to rotate the art in several of their properties and they just happened to have moved it to the main office inventory. Not for long... Molly and I tracked it down, bought it and now enjoy it every day. I reminds us of the good times we have enjoyed as a family!